George Lucas Educational Foundation

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge.

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Overview

What is Project-Based Learning?

Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying. Watch an introduction video.

History

What's the History of PBL?

Confucius and Aristotle were early proponents of learning by doing. Socrates modeled how to learn through questioning, inquiry, and critical thinking -- all strategies that remain very relevant in today's PBL classrooms. Learn more.

Experts

What the Experts Say

"One of the major advantages of project work is that it makes school more like real life." --Sylvia Chard, University of Alberta See what other experts say.

Research

Research: Studies on PBL Success

Did you know PBL students remember learned content for longer periods of time? Did you know PBL students view themselves as better prepared in problem solving and perform better in tasks that emphasize understanding and application of knowledge? Dig deeper.

Discuss

Browse

Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning
video

5 Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning

Well-designed project-based learning (PBL) has been shown to result in deeper learning and engaged, self-directed learners. Learn more about the five core elements of successful PBL.

23 139 74,963 views
Article

From Modern Farm to Sustainable Table: Teaching STEM and Humanities with Authenticity

Follow a ninth grade interdisciplinary PBL class from an on-site sustainability study through designing hydroponic gardens, growing food, and an Iron Chef cook-off.

36 5,175 views
Article

Using Entrepreneurship to Transform Student Work

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, describes a PBL unit that flipped a class from 'just good enough' to creating a working business model and seeking funds to launch a startup.

76 7,147 views
Article

Innovative Education: Make Room for "What Ifs"

Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss highlights a science project where eighth-graders created a "robohand" after their teacher invited them to solve a real-world problem.

2 100 13,801 views
Article

AP and PBL: It Works!

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller, challenging the assumption that PBL is incompatible with AP expectations, suggests three ways of making them more synergistic: embedding assessments within the project, using past exams for review, and targeting...

942 4,436 views
Article

How to Grow an Engaging Learning Environment

As the school garden movement continues to grow, Edutopia blogger Suzie Boss suggests it's worth taking a closer look at the strategies that are yielding positive results.

1 2,476 7,147 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

9 277 236,727 views

Pages

An adult teacher points at work on a table as four high school students watch.
Article

4 Strategies to Energize and Focus Your Students

The real-life application of learning engages students beyond worksheets and traditional methods.

6 868 14,786 views
Article

Culinary Arts Integration: 12 PBL Activities Students Can Sink Their Teeth Into

Use the study and preparation of food as a cross-curricular PBL modality in math, chemistry, social studies, history, or language arts classes.

3 12 14,786 views
article

How to Help an International School: Give the Gift of Books -- and More

Teach children a global lesson by donating books and other needed supplies to schools around the world.

11 44 14,786 views
article

Students Thrive on Cooperation and Problem Solving

Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical-thinking abilities they'll need to compete.

22 75 14,786 views
PBL and Arts: Empowering Students to Craft Beautiful Work
Schools That Work

Arts-Infused Project-Based Learning: Crafting Beautiful Work

Learn how to bring cross-curricular, arts-infused project-based learning into your classroom.

7 208 14,540 views
Article

The Hattie Effect: What's Essential for Effective PBL?

Check out how John Hattie's research is demystifying what works in education and how this relates to project-based learning.

7 1,093 14,540 views
Article

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning

Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond "course-based" approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.

8 58 14,540 views

Pages

Girls testing wing strength using plywood
Article

Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide

An overview of the Edutopia professional development guide for teaching how to use project-based learning in the classroom.

15 214 78,176 views

Classroom Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning

This guide will inspire and expand your thinking about effective assessment for project-based learning. Tips are organized to follow the arc of a project: planning, launch into active learning, and then a culminating presentation. Reflection is the final...

2 3,450 107,020 views
Article

Project Learning: Model Schools with Solutions

Project learning encourages students to explore real-world challenges while developing cross-curriculum skills in small collaborative groups. Edutopia has visited many schools that have implemented project-based learning programs -- here are some of the best...

1 2 2,957 views